Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

Mistakes To Avoid A Few Days After Having Your Tooth Extracted

If you have just had an extraction to remove a bad tooth, you may wonder what needs to be done to take care of the site while it heals. However, as well as knowing what to do, you should also make sure you avoid the following mistakes during the few days after having your tooth extracted.

Brushing the Socket Area

After having a dental extraction, it is important to thoroughly clean the area to keep the site from becoming infected. As part of your efforts, you may decide that it is all right to go ahead with your normal oral hygiene routine and brush the socket area along with your teeth.

However, if you brush the socket, a couple of things can happen. First, you may irritate the gums surrounding the site, causing pain and increased bleeding. Second, brushing disturbs the fragile clot that has formed inside the socket. If this is pulled out, the socket will be exposed, subjecting you to the intense pain of dry socket.

On the day of and after your procedure, avoid brushing your teeth. Instead, rinse your mouth with salt water to help kill the germs. If your dentist has not already given you an antimicrobial mouthwash, ask them for a recommendation on one to use to help keep the socket and your mouth clean.

Using a Straw to Drink Fluids

Since your mouth will be sore after your extraction, you may opt to drink fluids through a straw instead of drinking straight from the container. Plus, you may feel that doing so will help keep the fluids away from the socket so that the opening stay cleaner.

However, the last thing you want to do in the few days following a tooth extraction is to drink through a straw. When you suck on the straw, negative pressure is created in your mouth.

When this negative pressure builds up, it pulls on the clot inside your socket. While taking a sip or two may not completely dislodge the clot, it may disturb it enough to expose the socket to air and bacteria. Eventually, if you keep using the straw, the clot may come out completely, giving you dry socket.

Avoiding the above mistakes in the days following your tooth extraction can help you heal faster and keep you from getting dry socket. For more information about taking care of your extraction site, speak with the dentist who performed your dental tooth extraction for personalized guidance.